On Holidays

This past Tuesday was Valentine’s Day.  That night, my boyfriend and I sat in my apartment doing homework — we had already celebrated by cooking breakfast for dinner the Friday night before, when we had more time.  A few hours into Tuesday evening, my boyfriend’s mom texted him asking if he had gotten me chocolates or flowers for Valentine’s Day.  He felt a bit awkward telling her he hadn’t gotten me anything, even though that’s what we agreed.

That brought up a discussion about holidays.  He said he had thought about getting me some flowers, because he knows I like them.  But, he said, I hadn’t seemed like I wanted anything this year.  And he’s right — I didn’t.

We’ve been dating for a little over three years.  The very first Valentine’s we spent as a couple was about a month into our relationship.  He did get me flowers and chocolates then, and I loved it — it was the first time I had ever had a boyfriend for Valentine’s Day, and it was so fun to feel special and loved.  I dried a few petals from that bouquet, and they’re now in a frame on my bedroom wall.  But the reason those flowers were so special were not because they were for V-Day, necessarily; it was because it was a first for both of us.  It was a milestone.

Those are the things I’d rather celebrate, I told him that night.  V-Day is nice and all, but I’d rather celebrate an interview, or a job offer, or a milestone in our relationship than I would a holiday that people celebrate just because it happens every year.  Holidays can be nice, of course.  But to me, they feel a little obligatory.  Plus, practically speaking, it’s cheaper to celebrate things in the off-season — have you ever noticed how much flower prices go up during holidays?  It’s insane.  I would rather my boyfriend save the money, and if he wants to give me flowers, give them on a random Tuesday just because he’s thinking of me.  He wholeheartedly agreed.

There’s a lot to be said for holidays, of course — they remind us to slow down and appreciate the things we have, and there is often lots of historical significance behind them.  But we’ll save the fight for a table at Olive Garden for the (hopefully-soon) moments that we get job offers.

I will get my flower fix this spring, though — we decided that in a few weeks, when home improvement stores start stocking spring flowers, we’ll go get me some perennials to replace my begonias that died last year.  That’ll last a lot longer than a Valentine’s bouquet.

my first flowers


  1. I really like this post. I don’t care for Valentines Day. It’s a commercial holiday that basically makes people feel bad about themselves. You should show your loved ones all year you appreciate them. I spent mine consoling my 13 year old because she has no boyfriend. Oh the teenage years…

  2. I like Valentine’s Day because I think the sentiment is lovely, but I agree on not going out for dinner that day. Go before or after, but the day of is just… too much concentrated cringe in one location. Better to have a lovely dinner at home with wine and a favourite movie.

    I love the framed petals, they still look beautiful!

  3. That’s beautiful that you have framed the flowers. I believe that holidays are great to celebrate but you shouldn’t make too much of a fuss about. I do agree that it reminds us to slow down and spend times with the family and loved ones as well. When you take the stress out of the day, I think that it’s beautiful seeing a co worker get a bouquet or seeing people purchase items that you know are for their significant other.Valentine’s Day to me restores my hope in humanity because no matter how much tragedy we see on a daily basis, that day we see and know that people can still love. Awesome post!

    -Luna :)

  4. 20 years of marriage has led me to believe that valentines day was invented to pressure people into spending money on things they don’t need. True displays of love come from your actions across the year and not from holiday flower purchases. Now when the chocolate goes on sale the next day… that’s the time to splurge.

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